One of my favorite, albeit short lived, Cartoon Network shows was Megas XLR. Pre-dating Pacific Rim by 9 years, Megas XLR, a show about a giant robot resurrected in a Jersey City junkyard, premiered in 2004 on the Toonami block. It’s also important to mention that the Transformers live-action film didn’t hit theaters until 3 years later! Enough bragging though, Megas XLR wasn’t just a show about an eXtra Large Robot, it also featured a couple of standard issue Jersey slacker dudes. They snack, sip Slurpees, and listen to loud rock music. Extremely common behavior for indigenous slackers.
Coop (Picture Reaper’s Tyler Labine) and Jamie, our “heroes,” purchase the robot for a dollar since it was laying amongst the debris in the local junkyard. Coop, the mechanic, fixes up the severely damaged robot, gives the towering machine a slick flaming paint job, attaches it’s new head – a ’70s muscle car similar to a Plymouth Barracuda, and uses a video game controller to drive it around.
To promote the show at the San Diego Comic Con previous to it’s premiere, Cartoon Network gave out a very limited amount of small statues of Megas XLR. For the Jersey pop culture obsessed, this is one of the coolest pieces to have in your collection. Knowing something this badass came out of one of our filthy, fictional junkyards and was fixed up and controlled by 2 Jersey slackers makes it that much more special to me.
Megas XLR did not garner a huge fan base at the time but, it certainly has gained a cult following. As for the latest status on the show, last year, the show’s creators tweeted about the possibility of bringing Megas XLR back. Presently, all the episodes are available on iTunes, but, there’s never been an official DVD release. Here’s to hoping Pacific Rim packs a wallop at the box office this weekend. Success like that could create a big demand for robot related programming, and there’s no better animated sci-fi action comedy than MEGAS XLR!